The purpose of the present study, grounded in relational developmental systems theory, was to use longitudinal data to examine the roles of individual, family, peer, and religious community predictors of religious deidentification in adolescence and young adulthood. The sample included 2,842 youth (ages 13–17) who identified with a religion at the baseline wave of the National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR). First, Wave 1 individual (worship service attendance, youth group attendance, religious importance, prayer, and doubt), family (parent worship service attendance, parent religious importance, and family religious conversations), peer (number of religious friends, number of friends attending religious youth groups, and friend religious conversations), and religious community (engagement and dialogue) predictors were identified that significantly predicted deidentification by Waves 2 or 3. Second, when comparing Wave 1 individual, family, peer, and religious community scale scores as predictors of Wave 3 deidentification, only individual and family religiousness were significant. Third, we tested a mediation model whereby Wave 2 individual religiousness mediated relations between Wave 1 family, peer, and religious community scale scores and Wave 3 deidentification. All three indirect paths were significant, with the largest effect for family. Thus, individual, family, peer, and religious community factors all play a role in religious deidentification, but the family may be the most salient developmental context of religious development.
- religious deidentification
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology